Archive for January, 2011

31
Jan
11

honeymoon – santorini.

There are a lot of popular destinations that are over-rated and can’t possibly live up to expectations, but Santorini is not one of them. It delivers. It was more charming and more beautiful than I could have ever imagined. I’ve seen hundreds of photos and yet it still felt new and unexpected. Trying to get anywhere with Derek was a challenge because EVERY corner presents the perfect photo opp.

I’m positive that one of the reasons we had such a wonderful experience was because of our accommodations. We stayed in the most charming cave house EVER. The inside was nothing too exciting afterall, it was a house carved into the side of a rock) but the location was unbelievable. We were right in the heart of Oia. And best of all, we had our own private balcony with stunning views. If you ever go to Santorini, I highly recommend staying in Oia rather than Fira. In my opinion, Oia outshines Fira tenfold. This is an island I will never forget. PLEASE GO and see for yourself!

Here are those iconic blue domes of Oia.

If you look at the very bottom/center of this photo, you’ll see me standing on our balcony.

Enjoying our private balcony! Isn’t it beautiful?!?

My husband and I enjoying one of the many restaurants in Oia. If you look to the right of the pole, you’ll see a red/brown cave house. That’s ours! Great location!
Oia by starlight.

This is the little fishing village of Amoudi.  TONS of fresh delicious seafood. I highly recommend taking the stairs down to Amoudi.

Derek riding a donkey. When in Rome …

Not sure why I look so irritated here. Well, actually I do know why. The stairs from Amoudi are annoying and take forever. And to make matters worse, Derek was drunk and stopped every other step to crack a joke or take a picture. Rough…I know. 🙂

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30
Jan
11

honeymoon – naxos.

I know, I know. It’s almost been 6 months and I still haven’t posted all of our honeymoon photos. So far, I’ve shared photos from Athens and Central Greece. Today, I give you Naxos. Naxos was the first island we visited and also the largest.  It was a wonderful introduction to the Greek Islands. I still have Santorini and Sifnos (my two favorites) to share. Stay tuned!

 

28
Jan
11

stinky hand.

Does anyone else get grossed out by the smell of food on their hands? Not from cooking or prepping food, but from eating certain foods with your hands (burgers, French fries, sandwiches, etc). And no matter how many times you wash your hands you can still smell it. How is that possible?!? I don’t know why it’s so irritating to me, but I despise the stinky hand! Maybe that’s why I tend to prefer salads and soups over sandwiches. I know…it’s a stupid, trivial pet peeve.

 

18
Jan
11

business jargon.

I was laughing out loud at my desk today. Forbes published an article about annoying business jargon. I’ve been in the workforce for 7 years now and I can attest that this kind of jargon has permeated everyone. Including me!

Here is the Forbes list. Some of these I’ve never heard before, and some of these I hear 20 times a day in Corporate America.

Drill Down

A phrase often wielded by superiors wanting a subject examined more closely. “Drill down to what?” asks Shut Up and Say Something author Karen Friedman. “The oil?”

Low-Hanging Fruit

A professional in advertising who would like to remain anonymous tells us: “If I hear my boss say ‘low-hanging fruit’ one more time, I’m gonna lose it!” Her boss wields the cliché when describing everything from blogs his charges should read to customers they should call. “Sometimes,” confides our informant, “I dream of literal fruit, hanging low, especially after a staff meeting.” The phrase has become a catch-all for managerial types who are trying to say “do the easy things first.” Perhaps they should just say that.

Ducks In a Row

Do you have ducks? Even if you somehow do have ducks–and really, who has ducks?–what good does it do to get them in a row? Will ducks even assent to such an arrangement? The saying apparently comes from the earlier days of bowling before machines set pins automatically. One needed to get his ducks in a row before, invariably, hurling a weighty ball down the alley to blast the poor ducks into a pathetic, unorganized flock. Does that really describe a business plan? We don’t think so.

Let’s Talk That

For some troubled souls this phrase takes the place of “let’s discuss that,” or “let’s talk about that.” As with most jargon, the origin of this message is unknown and inexplicable. Sandi Straetker, an account executive with Priority Public Relations in Cincinnati, has been trying to help a relative move away from this phrase’s nasty clutches. “Every time he says it, I just want to shoot him with my grammar cop gun,” she says. Let’s talk that? Talk this.

Hard Stop

An executive with a “hard stop” at 3 p.m. is serious about stopping at 3 p.m. Very serious. And very important. Or at least that’s how it comes off, says Patricia Kilgore, president of Sterling Kilgore, a Chicago area public relations and marketing firm. “To me it sounds like ‘This meeting isn’t really that important, so I need a way to get out of it,'” Kilgore says. A heart attack is a hard stop, Kilgore adds; anything else is just a conflict.

Price Point

“Come on, seriously, why say ‘price point’?” begs Duncan Phillips, an account executive at The Hodges Partnership, a communications firm in Richmond, Va. Price point merely means price, of course. “So just say price,” implores Phillips.

Think Outside the Box

A horrible cliché. One commenter at Forbes.com says, “Forget the box, just think.” Novel idea.

Giving 110%

The mere notion is nonsensical. Not only that, but it’s also a favorite of meathead football coaches. Next!

Synergize

Say what? This word has infiltrated nearly every cube and conference room in the country. The fault here can largely be placed on one seminal advice author. In Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Successful People, the No. 6 habit is Synergize. Of the habit, Covey writes, “To put it simply, synergy means two heads are better than one.” Covey readers might recall getting the same advice in simpler terms several decades earlier from Sesame Street. Big Bird called it “cooperation.”

Move the Needle

This beauty is a favorite of venture capitalists. If something doesn’t move the needle, they don’t like it much. So when pitching VCs, ensure you make clear your intentions of moving the needle. Or you could always just say your product will be better than others.

Boil the Ocean

Global warming? No. Some wacky alchemy? Not quite. To boil the ocean, in fact, means to waste time. The thinking here, we suppose, is that boiling the ocean would take a long time. It would also take a long time to walk to Jupiter. But we don’t say that. Nor should we reference boiling oceans, even the Arctic, which is the smallest. It would be a waste of time

It is what it is.

No kidding. Thanks for the insight.

Learning (the Made-Up, Annoying Noun Version)

Like most educated people, Michael Travis, principal of Executive Search for Life Sciences, a headhunting firm, knows how to conjugate a verb. That’s why he cringes when his colleagues use the word “learning” as a noun. As in: “I had a critical learning from that project,” or “We documented the team’s learnings.” Whatever happened to simply saying: “I learned a lesson from that project?”

Full Service

If you don’t work at a gas station, why borrow the cliché? “If I hear one more professional describe their business as ‘full service,’ I’m going to scream,” says Deborah Shames, co-author of Own The Room: Business Presentations that Engage, Persuade and Get Results.“Does this mean your investment firm drops off dry cleaning and provides babysitters?”

Over The Wall

If you’re not wielding a grappling hook, avoid this meaningless expression. Katie Clark, an account executive at Allison & Partners, a San Francisco public relations firm, got a request from her boss to send a document “over the wall.” Did he want her to print out the document, make it into a paper airplane and send it whooshing across the office? Finally she asked for clarification. “It apparently means to send something to the client,” she says. “Absurd!” Agreed.

Impact

This wannabe verb came to prominence, says Bryan Garner, editor in chief of Black’s Law Dictionary, because most people don’t understand the difference between the words “affect” and “effect.” Rather than risk mixing them up, they say, “We will impact our competitor’s sales with this new product.” A tip: “Affect” is most commonly a verb, “effect” a noun. For instance: When you affect my thinking, you may have an effect on my actions.

Out Of Pocket

Many auto-reply e-mails now carry the phrase: “I’m ‘out of pocket’ until next week.” Mark Daly, an account manager at the Davies Murphy Group, a marketing firm, isn’t sure where the phrase started, but he’d like for its use to stop: “Expenses come out of pockets, quarterbacks come out of the pocket, but Johnny, well he’ll just be plain unavailable or out of the office.”

Take It To the Next Level

In theory this means to make something better. In practice, “the phrase means absolutely nothing,” says Laurent Duperval, who runs an eponymous consulting company in Quebec. “Nobody knows what the next level actually looks like, so how am I supposed to know when I’ve reached it?” (For ways of actually measuring what’s going on at your company, check out: “Nine Enlightening Business-Performance Metrics.”)

Solution

This word has come to mean everything from the traditional way to solve a mathematical proof to a suite of efficiency-enhancing software–and it is perhaps the epitome of lingual laziness. Says Glen Turpin, a communications consultant: “It usually refers to a collection of technologies too abstract or complex to describe in a way that anyone would care about if they were explained in plain English.”

Manage Expectations

This cliché sends up warning flares for Patrick Gray, president of Prevoyance Group, a strategy consulting firm in Charlotte, N.C. His translation: “You’re telling co-workers what we’re going to give the client will suck, but you have to convince the client it’s what they really wanted in the first place.” If you’re going to underperform, no need to sound like a pompous jerk about it.

Utilize:

“Use” will do.

Tee it up

Not without a caddy.

Circle back

We prefer straight lines, or just an appointment to talk again in the future.

Reach out

Do it and you’ll lose a digit.

Take it offline

So we are in the Matrix!

 

I was disappointed to see that a few of my personal favorites didn’t make the list.

Bob’s your uncle.

I don’t have the bandwidth.

We need a strawman.

Try this one on for size.

I have to get it blessed.

Run it up the flagpole.

Getting push-back.

In the weeds.

Drop the ball.

Hit the ground running.

16
Jan
11

this week.

I’ve been feeling incredibly lazy and lethargic and completely unproductive lately. I’m not sure if it’s the weather or the lack of sunshine. Probably both. Anyway, I feel like I need to get back into a good routine to help keep me motivated and upbeat. So, the plan for this week is as follows:

–          Exercise 3x. Baby steps people. I haven’t worked out in almost 5 months.

–          Take my lunch to work every day this week.

–          Get out of bed earlier.

–          Drink more water.

–          Limit my TV watching. It’s the ultimate life sucker.  And if you don’t watch out it will monopolize hours of the day!!

 

Wish me luck!

09
Jan
11

Happy 2011!

Narrowing down my goals for the new year is always a fun but daunting task. There is something SO uplifting about a fresh start and I’m really looking forward to 2011. Here is what I’m going to try to accomplish.

Be a good wife. This is a big one and probably the most important now that I’m married. I really want to get our marriage off to a good start. We already have a super solid relationship and things are going great, but I believe that you have to work to grow together and be in-sync. Perhaps it’s the little divorced kid in me, but I’m really paranoid about growing distant, fighting too much and not communicating. If you don’t grow together – then you grow apart.

Stick to our budget. While I’ve put together many o’ budgets in my life, I’m not sure that I’ve ever actually stuck to one more than a month. I’m going to try really hard to make this a priority in 2011. We’ve signed up for Mint.com which is already proving pretty convenient and helpful.

Be grateful. I think this is incredibly important and I’m always trying to be better about it. I’m scared to death of turning into a whiney, ungrateful, miserable person who is blind to the good in their life and is absorbed by the bad. I have so much to be thankful for and it’s important to recognize and celebrate it.

Start trying. This one isn’t entirely up to me, but I’d really like to start trying to get pregnant in 2011. The whole thing is overwhelming and exciting and terrifying at the same time.  There are so many unknowns! How long will it take? Will we even be able to get pregnant? Will the baby be healthy? Can we afford it? Will we be good parents? Are we ready? What do we do about childcare? The only thing that we do know is that we want to be parents. And we certainly aren’t getting any younger. But, it takes two to tango and I need my partner to be fully onboard before we can start trying.

Enjoy Alki. Enjoy our new neighborhood as much as possible. It’s so fun to be in a new place and I want to make sure I take advantage.

Start Canning. My mom and I have decided to start canning. I’m really excited about it. Pickles, green beans, asparagus, jam, you name it! It’s going to be awesome.

Buy a desk. No explanation needed on this one.

Happy New Year everyone! Here’s to a great 2011!

03
Jan
11

here comes another bride!

As if Christmas Eve wasn’t exciting enough already, it became even MORE exciting after I received a phone call from my ol’ pal Kara. I believe the conversation went something like this.

Kindra: Hi Sweetie! Did you get my voicemail?

Kara: No. But I got a ring!!!

Kindra: AAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!

I can’t even tell you how excited I am for Kara and Brendan. I’ve known Kara for 10 years now and the instant I met Brendon, I knew he was the one for her!  Hands down. No questions. Game over.  They are the kind of couple that you just KNOW will still be laughing together when they are old and wrinkly.  Congrats you two!

PS – I apologize for my lapse in posting. We were stealing internet from a neighbor and they had the nerve to move! Ha! Anyway, we had to buck up and pay for our own. Imagine that!




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